The foreign footballers considered for England

Sam Allardyce has revealed that he tried to get Sevilla’s French midfielder Steven N’Zonzi to play for England.

Although N’Zonzi isn’t English he lived in England for six years, playing for Blackburn and Stoke City.

Fifa has a rule saying that players living in a country for five years or more can play for that nation’s team.

That’s why the FA thought that he might have been able to play for the England team.

But the rule also says that the player can’t have played a competitive match for another country.

Sam Allardyce looking at his phone

Unfortunately for Big Sam, N’Zonzi played a game for France Under-21s back in 2009, which means he can’t play for England.

This isn’t the first time players with no English roots have been looked at by England – below we take a look at some of the players who were considered in the past.

Adnan Januzaj

When Manchester United’s Januzaj burst onto the scene three years ago, he was eligible to play for six different countries: England, Albania, Serbia, Kosovo, Turkey and Belgium.

The then-teenager would have had to wait five years without playing football for any other nation before playing for England.

It didn’t happen, and he decided to play for Belgium instead.

Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta high-fiving someone

Back in 2010, Arteta was an Everton player and he had never played for Spain’s first team.

At the time, he hoped to be able to represent England, having lived here for five years.

But the FA ruled that he could not play because he had played for Spain at under-17 level.

The only way he could have played for England would be if he had held a British passport back when he was playing for the Spanish youth teams, which obviously he didn’t have.

Manuel Almunia

Manuel Almunia

In 2009, England was having a bit of a goalkeeping crisis and some people thought that Almunia would be the solution.

Fabio Capello, who was England manager at the time, quickly quashed any hopes though, when he said: “Almunia, for me, is Spanish.”

Luckily, Joe Hart came along and solved the problem shortly afterwards – and the number one jersey has been his ever since.

Carlo Cudicini

Carlo Cudicini catching a ball

Another goalkeeper, this time from Chelsea.

After England crashed out of Euro 2004, then manager Sven-Goran Eriksson thought about asking Cudicini to play.

But the Italian had been capped for Italy’s Under-18 and Under-21 teams, which meant that he could not switch national teams.

He never played for Italy’s first team.

Louis Saha

Louis Saha

At the same time as asking about Cudicini, Sven-Goran Eriksson enquired about French-born Louis Saha.

But Saha rejected the invitation.

He wrote in his autobiography: “The idea of not playing well for England and having to put up with insults did not appeal!”

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